In the modern world, more and more people are embracing the vegan lifestyle due to various reasons and the prime reasons amongst them are that veganism has many health benefits, and it’s animal friendly. 1
It’s true that while following a vegan diet you need to stay away from animal products by adopting plant-based products. But it doesn’t mean that we have to avoid all foods such as sweets and other snacks, and when we are talking about sweets we can never forget about LOLLIPOPS.
What are lollipops?
Lollipops are a type of sugar candy usually consisting of hard candy mounted on a stick and intended for sucking or licking. Different informal terms are used in different places, including lolly, sucker, sticky-pop, etc. Lollipops are available in many flavors and shapes.
Lollipops come in a variety of shapes, colors, and flavors, from classics like cherry or grape to more sophisticated kinds like sriracha or blackberry mint. Lollipops can even be made vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free.
What ingredients are inside lollipops?
The ingredients used in the production of lollipops vary by manufacturer. Although basic lollipops contain the following ingredients:2
- Corn Syrup
- Flavorings [both natural and artificial]
- Malic acid or Citric acid.
These are the ingredients that are found in lollipops in general.
Are lollipops vegan?
Most of the lollipops are Vegan as they contain water and sugar as the principal ingredients. As mentioned above some lollipops may also contain malic acid or citric acid which are vegan as well.
The extra ingredients that are added to lollipops to enhance their flavor may sometimes include non-vegan elements. So if you are practicing veganism you must see the lollipop’s ingredient list printed on the wrapper before eating it.
I’m mentioning some non-vegan ingredients which are common in some lollipops:
Cream is a rich dairy product made by skimming fat off fresh unpasteurized milk.3 Fresh unpasteurized milk quickly separates and the fat rises to the top. This fat layer is then skimmed off and is known as cream.
Generally, lollipops that contain cream have the name ‘cream’ mentioned somewhere.
An example is an Alpenlibe Cream. Strawberry Lollipops contain water, sugar, cream, and added strawberry flavor.
Caramel is made by cooking natural sugar up to a high temperature of about 340°F (170°C).4 It has many uses in candy and sauces, and as a topping for certain desserts.
There are various types of natural sugars including lactose that are non-vegan and fructose that are vegan. Caramel sauce, which contains cream and milk is also used in making certain kinds of lollipops.
The problem is that the products which have caramel listed in their ingredient list do not specify that whether they contain dairy or not and this makes it difficult to identify that whether the caramel containing lollipops are vegan or not.
Glycerine [also known as glycerol or glycerine] is a colorless, odorless sweet-tasting liquid that is basically non-toxic in nature.5
Synthetic glycerine is often used in the food, supplement, and cosmetic industries.
Glycerin can be derived from both animals[tallow] and plants[soyabean oil, coconut oil]. Since lollipops brands do not specify that from where they have sourced the glycerine, it’s better to stay away from lollipops that list glycerine as an ingredient.
What to look at in vegan lollipops?
Select a vegan lollipop made without artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Artificial colors can make lollipops look more appealing, but artificial food coloring and dyes may be harmful, especially for children.6
In addition, just because lollipops are labeled as vegan does not mean they are free of other ingredients that may be problematic for those with allergies or food sensitivities.
Always look at the product packaging to ensure you know exactly what is in the vegan lollipop.
Many vegan products have a “vegan” label on the packaging to help you easily identify that all ingredients are vegan.
Third-party certifications such as certified vegan, certified non-GMO, USDA organic, kosher, and fair trade, allow shoppers to feel confident about their product choices.7,8,9,10 Whether you follow a specific dietary pattern for health or moral reasons, certifications save time and energy when shopping and deciding between a variety of different products.
Just because a lollipop contains a special label does not mean it is healthier than conventional products. Lollipop is still lollipop; however, some products are made with better ingredients than others.
Vegan lollipops still contain sugar, and they should be moderated and enjoyed mindfully.
Vegan friendly lollipops
The company produces a variety of lollipops but only the strawberry, cherry, and cola flavors are vegan friendly.
These are the most famous vegan lollipops available in the market.
Yum earth organic lollipops
These are purely vegan lollipops. They are free from gluten, dairy, and even nuts.
Apart from these, there are many other vegan lollipops present in the market but still, I would recommend that homemade lollipops are the best way to ensure that the ingredients are purely vegan.11
Are lollipops healthy?
Lollipops are mostly sugar and sugars in excess aren’t good for you:
- Excess sugar
- Feeds the bacteria which rot your teeth.12
- Spikes the blood sugar levels
- can lead to diabetes, blood pressure, and heart-related problems.
So we should eat them in moderation.
Candy [including lollipops] should be considered an indulgence—not a snack—and should be consumed moderately and with mindfulness. It’s easy to reach for candy—even ‘healthier’ vegan candy— to boost energy quickly, but at the end of the day it’s still candy.”—Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN
- Definition of veganism. Vegan Society. Accessed from https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/definition-veganism. Retrieved 02 April 2021
- Lollipops ingredients. Candy Creek. Accessed from https://www.candycreek.com/ingredients-lollipops.html. Retrieved 02 April 2021
- All about Cream. All Recipes. Accessed from https://www.allrecipes.com/video/621/all-about-cream/. Retrieved 02 April 2021
- This is What Every Stage of Making Caramel Looks Like. Taste of Home. Accessed from https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/what-caramel-stages-look-like/. Retrieved 02 April 2021
- Glycerine: an overview. Aciscience. Accessed from http://www.aciscience.org/docs/glycerine_-_an_overview.pdf. Retrieved 02 April 2021
- What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Artificial Sweeteners. Perri O. Blumberg. Eat This. Accessed from https://www.eatthis.com/artificial-sweeteners-side-effects/. Retrieved 02 April 2021
- Vegan Certification Process. Vegan.org. Accessed from https://vegan.org/certification-process/. Retrieved 02 April 2021
- What is GMO? NOON GMO Project. Accessed from https://www.nongmoproject.org/gmo-facts/what-is-gmo/. Retrieved 02 April 2021
- USDA organic. USDA. Accessed from https://www.usda.gov/topics/organic. Retrieved 02 April 2021
- Kosher certification agency. Wikipedia. Accessed from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosher_certification_agency. Retrieved 02 April 2021
- The Foolproof Way to Make Homemade Lollipops. The Spruce Eats Accessed from https://www.thespruceeats.com/lollipops-521375. Retrieved 02 April 2021
- How Sugar Causes Cavities and Destroys Your Teeth. Verena Tan. Accessed from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-sugar-destroys-teeth. Retrieved 02 April 2021